Christmas 2010: Insulated Water Bottle Carriers

This is the 5th installment in a series of entries about the Christmas projects I worked on in December.

Back in September, I posted about the first batch of insulated water bottle carriers I made over the summer; in October I shared another carrier and matching lunch bag I made for myself. After I made the first few carriers, I found a half dozen colorful stainless steel water bottles that I thought would be perfect for birthday gifts for my nieces and nephews throughout the year. But I missed the deadline for one birthday, and then another, so decided the water bottles and coordinating carriers would all be Christmas gifts.

I collected the bits and pieces of hardware, fabrics, cords and other components over several months, intending to get an early start on 6 insulated water bottle carriers. As it turned out, I didn't really get started on these until about the 2nd week of December. But working on six at one time allowed me to complete a number of steps in the process assembly-line style.

The first three carriers were made for the Girls who are age 13 and older:
Insulated Water Bottle Carriers & Matching Bottles

Using the color and pattern on each of the bottles as inspiration, I chose fabrics, designs and thread colors that would coordinate with the bottle and capture a little something personal about the recipient.

Insulated Water Bottle Carriers & Matching Bottles
The pink bottle was for my eldest niece, because at one time it was her favorite color. (I hope it still is!)

I was able to find a paisley style design in my collection that mimicked the lotus-style flowers on the bottle. The design is embroidered in shades of pink rayon thread on black nylon fabric.

The adjustable shoulder strap is pink nylon webbing with black grosgrain ribbon sewn on one side to tone down the ultra hot pink.

Insulated Water Bottle Carriers & Matching Bottles
The green bottle was for my second niece, again because she likes that color.

The embroidery design is from Embroidery Library, called Daring Eagle Damask. I chose this design because her high school mascot is an eagle, and the damask style complements the leaves on her bottle.

The embroidery is stitched on green denim-like fabric. The strap is tan nylon with green grosgrain ribbon applied to one side.

Insulated Water Bottle Carriers & Matching Bottles

The brown bottle was for my 3rd niece who once told me she likes chocolate brown and light blue.

She also likes penguins, so her water bottle carrier is embroidered with this Penguin at the Beach design (yet another from Embroidery Library) on dark brown cotton fabric.

The strap is tan nylon webbing with chocolate brown grosgrain ribbon attached.

Insulated Water Bottle Carriers & Matching Bottles
Next is a close-up of the three girls' straps with the ribbon embellishment.  This turned out to be a nifty way to personalize the webbing and match the colors without needing to search for or buy too many custom colors.

To apply the ribbon, I used Washaway Wonder Tape to temporarily attach the ribbon to the full length of the webbing. Then I stitched along each side of the ribbon with invisible thread in the needle and bobbin, using a topstitch needle and a lengthened straight stitch.

Believe it or not, the idea to use the ribbon this way came to me while I was putting Christmas collars on my two dogs.

After the ribbon was attached, I assembled the shoulder straps and other tabs the same way as usual.

The Boys, who are all age 10 and younger, received less elaborate designs on their water bottle carriers:
Insulated Water Bottle Carriers & Bottles
All three are made of blue nylon fabric with black nylon webbing for the shoulder straps. I don't recall where  I bought the individual embroidery designs; I acquired them very soon after I began learning to do machine embroidery and I didn't keep very good notes back then.  I believe they came from Embroidery.com, but can't be sure exactly.

Insulated Water Bottle Carriers & Matching BottlesThe orange-ish water bottle went to my eldest nephew who also happens to be a NY Mets and Brooklyn Cyclones fan.

The baseball applique design embroidered on his bottle carrier is stitched with orange rayon thread over two layers of white nylon fabric on a blue nylon background.


Insulated Water Bottle Carriers & Matching Bottles
The blue bottle went to a young Giants fan. The applique on his carrier is in the shape of a football helmet and was stitched over a piece of licensed NFL cotton fabric.  

I fussy-cut the fabric so that the Giants logo would be centered on the right side of the helmet.

Insulated Water Bottle Carriers & Matching Bottles
The red bottle went to the younger brother of the Giants fan.  His carrier sports a football applique, stitched over a piece of marbled brown cotton fabric.

I intentionally made this bottle carrier shorter than the others because of feedback from one of my sisters-in-law -- she recommended a shorter carrier for the smaller boys because they don't typically use such large bottles. This one is shorter to accommodate a toddlers' covered sippy cup. (I hope that's the right description for it!)

These insulated water bottle carriers have been well-received so far, and I expect I'll be making more very soon. You can see more photos in my Insulated Water Bottle set on Flickr.

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There's one more blog entry in this series -- the last entry will share reusable Christmas gift bags

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